Good spells, bad spells

Head over to "Against the Wicked City" for a keen observation on which kind of spells make for interesting gameplay and which ones break it. The article is based on old school D&D and its spell list, but you don't really need to know the rules to enjoy the article. Keep in mind that in D&D a character can cast a limited amount of spells, but casting does not cost any other kind of resource, like mana, and casting on a willing target usually does not have a chance to fail. As the number of spells a character can cast per day increases with levelling, the experience of play can be heavily impacted by spell effects if they lack limitations. 

I am Sucker for Purpose

When I started working on my own roleplaying game, my main intent was to avoid switching systems whenever I wanted to play a different genre. And I wanted to keep it simple because maybe I could play it with my kids. Within these broad guidelines, I picked whatever I liked, improved what I thought needed improvement and filled the gaps with a lot of ideas that seemed convincing at the time. I did put together some playable versions. We had fun playing them and some players even used it for their own games, but it never really convinced me. After years and years of writing, playtesting, re-writing, I finally understood what I did wrong. I created what I liked at the moment, but didn't follow a clear purpose.

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Without trust ... it's just scary

Trust is the basis of human relationships. Loss of trust ends partnerships and employment contracts. Gain of trust lets you make friends and win at court.

It is often implied all players in a roleplaying game would trust each other. But that's not only untrue at conventions. There are also slight differences between friends, even within the same group. Much worse are roleplaying games in a work environment or for educational purposes because they even lack the expectation of fun that would otherwise bind participants. That's when roleplaying becomes agony.

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